A View From the Field









October, 2007



October 31 - Halloween

It was warm in the bedroom last night...or at least that's my excuse. I was later getting to bed than I'd planned, because I finally gave up and cast on my white bamboo socks. The yarn is bamboo and wool, and it is very soft and silky feeling. It is sort of antique white with little dark blue dots in it, and it knits on #1 needles, which means lots of stitches. I did get the ribbing done this morning and some of the leg, but it will take a while. It is going to be a nice sock.


Anyway, I kept waking up all hot and having to take a walk. That happened at about 8:00, and so I was awake when the wind started to rise, and I finally gave up and got up for good at 9:15, but then I knitted for quite a while, much to Buster's disgust.


Looking at the temperatures for the night, I can now see why I was hot: the temperature outside was 57º all night long, and after a sunny day, it was warm in the bedroom, even though I had the window in the window seat cracked.


Anyway, the wind began to rise around 8:00, with gusts to 25 mph from the northwest, and that was only the beginning. I just do not trust the NWS station with northwest winds, because for a good part of the day, when the wind gusted, the whitecaps were being blown away in sheets of spray, and that indicates winds in the high 30s or 40 mph range. However, we have finally gotten there: the 9:51 report had sustained winds of 39 mph with gusts to 51 mph. That, friends, is a strong gale and very close to storm force. It is pretty noisy outside. Mother Nature is breathing hard and Mother Superior is in a rage.


In the middle of the afternoon, from about 3:00 to 5:30, we had a power failure (of course!), and it got rather cool in here. In fact, it got so cool that I actually checked the boiler (which was boiling away), but the real reason I was cold was that I needed fuel, and once that was taken care of, I was fine. I did crank up the temperature in here a bit, and that helped, too.


Otherwise, I knitted a while and caught up on my magazines and watched the whitecaps getting blown across the harbor.


When I got up this morning, it was as dark as morning twilight, and while it did lighten up eventually - we actually had a short period of sunshine  around noon - most of the day was dark and dreary...and wild and hairy. 


Buster complained because I wouldn't let him sit on me forever, and I haven't seen Jasmine since this morning, when she was bombing up and down the hallway.


The temperature was in the middle 40s all day, but it is falling off now. There was a little rain around 9:30 this morning, and a little more between 7:00 and 8:00 this evening, but so far this has been a pretty dry storm. They are saying the temperature will get down into the middle 30s overnight and there may be some snow. We'll see about that.


This morning, a person who lives over on Bete Gris reported to the PastyCam that one laker was anchored over there. I bet there are more now. The Mid-Superior and East-Superior buoys are reporting 12-15 foot waves, and that's pretty hairy.


So the radio just played Schubert's "Der Erlkonig", which is an appropriate Halloween piece, and that is about all I know. I think I have another little cold, and it is giving me a headache, which means I'd better lay it on my little pillow pretty soon. It is a wild and hairy night in the field, and we're having our first November gale. Love it.


October 30

I am starting this a lot earlier tonight, in the hopes that maybe I can get to bed a bit earlier tonight. FrontPage copied the entire web (except for the pictures) last night, but at least it was successful. Then I knitted for a while, and it was 12:30 before I got to bed. I guess I needed to sleep, because it was after 11:00 when I got up, although for the last hour or so I sort of dozed and had a weird dream.


There was a lot of scuffling around in the middle of the night, made by very small feet, and this morning, I discovered a dead mouse on the rug. It was one of those cute things with the white front. I wish she had eaten it, but when I thought about it, I actually think it was an offering. So I did the appropriate thing with it (fortunately, she wasn't watching), and when I see her again, I will have to thank her and praise her abilities as a mouser. There are so many boxes in the bedroom, and so many things for a mouse to get underneath, she must have had an awful time catching it. I haven't seen her all day, so her exertions apparently wore her out.


With so late a start, I didn't do much. I finished the sock, and I still don't like it, and I started another one. This one is two shades of blue and a sort of pinky-beige, and very soft merino wool, and I think it will be much nicer, although I have only done about half of the ribbing.


I went to the post office, and there were packages, one of which is still in the truck. And in one of the packages was two balls of the same yarn that I don't like! For heaven's sake, people! That is not what I ordered, and I sent them a nasty email saying so. That was Herrschner's, and about 60% of the time I deal with them, something is wrong or late with the order. I keep reminding myself of that, but occasionally they have something I want...like a lot of cotton/wool yarn of a brand I have used and like.


Otherwise, I still haven't gotten any telephone bills, so I called them again, and at the end of the conversation, the lady told me what my account number is, for heaven's sake. Now, why couldn't they have done that four weeks ago? They still don't know why I am not getting my bills, since they appear to have the correct mailing address. I tried to check that, and discovered that they don't put it on the website. Geez, what a company!


The weather today was surprisingly nice. It was partly sunny, with moderate breezes, and the temperature got up to 59º. The sunset wasn't so good, though. We are sitting on the edge of a November gale, a day early. There are high wind warnings for almost all day and all night tomorrow, although they have backed off a lot from the forecast earlier today. We are likely to see gale force winds with gusts up to 50 mph or more, but for part of the day, they thought it would last well into Thursday, and now they say not. The trouble is, the highest winds will happen when it's dark, so we won't get to see the waves. They also backed off on how high the waves will be: when I checked the marine graphical forecast around 4:00, they had over 20 ft waves along the Keweenaw from Eagle Harbor to Keweenaw Point, and now they are saying they won't be nearly that high. It does sound like a nice blow.


So that is what I know, and I am really going to try to get to bed earlier and get up at a more reasonable hour tomorrow. It's time I did something.


October 29

For some reason I cannot fathom, FrontPage changed the modification date on the borders and therefore decided to upload every page that has them. And of course, it timed out halfway through. Honestly, that program! And I would be willing to bet that when they issued their newer versions of the program they didn't fix anything like that.


So I was late getting up to the north end (as I will be tonight), and since I sat and knit up the heel of the sock, I was even later getting to bed.


By the time I went to bed, the wind had picked up and the lake was speaking, so that was nice. However, I had to sleep most of the night on my right side because my left ear was sore, and as sometimes happens when I lie on that side, I was wakeful. I didn't get up until about 10:30, and with my knitting, that shortened the day a lot.


I was in bed so long that both Buster and Jasmine jumped up to make sure I was all right, and I got two strokes on Jasmine again before she jumped down. She would have come over to my end of the bathroom this morning, too, except that Buster intercepted her and started biting her ears, not hard, but I'm sure she felt it. I have always known that he was a jealous little cat, and now that he is top cat, he is showing his true colors. I don't know how that will work out. First I have to figure out how to get Jasmine onto my lap at all.


It was a rather lost day. I was too late to do the trash, and I missed the post office completely, which is OK, I guess, because the mail on Monday is usually late. I did manage to have one of my potatoes O'Brien omelets at about 2:00, but that was late enough that I didn't eat anything more until about 8:30. My schedule is all off, obviously.


I knitted and surfed the web and read part of a magazine, and that was it.


The weather was OK. It was mostly cloudy, and the temperature stayed at about 50º, with northwest winds that got up to the 15-25 mph range for a while before they died down completely.


We did have a rather nice sunset again. The camera actually didn't catch the best part of it, which was half or three-quarters of an hour earlier, when the entire atmosphere turned orange for about five minutes. I would have tried to take a picture with the Nikon, but I had to go to the bathroom, and since I hadn't wet my pants all day, I didn't want to break my record.


I am about halfway down the foot of the sock and I really don't like it very well. I suppose I will finish the pair and I will wear them, but the colors and pattern remind me of a clown and they aren't very pretty. This is one case where a yarn looks better in the ball than it does in the garment, which is always disappointing.


I am wearing the first pair of #2 socks I finished, and they are most satisfactory, as well as being colorful and pretty. It is really a little too warm to wear wool socks, but all my cotton-wool blend socks are dirty and for the fourth day in a row, I forgot that I intended to wash. I did do the jeans, which are still in the dryer, and that was the most important thing, so I will try again tomorrow.


The other milestone is that I managed to take all my neurontin for the first time since I decided to start it again. It poses a problem, because I have to wait at least two hours after I take my magnesium, or take it two hours before my evening magnesium. It's something about something absorbing something else, and I can't remember which. The result is that I have the bottle in the kitchen and I should take it when I get my breakfast and dinner...and almost every day, I look right at the bottle and don't see it. Or I take one and forget to take the other one. I may have to just take both at once. Since the dose I'm taking is very low, it isn't critical, but I would like to see if it will do something about the numbness in my feet, which is still spreading.


So that is about all I have to report, and if I'm a good girl, I might just get into bed before midnight tonight. Or not, depending on how FrontPage acts.


October 28

I knitted again, but I got into bed around 11:00, I think. The wind was blowing and the lake was roaring, which always makes me sleep well. The wind died down after a while, and by the time I got up, everything was quiet and rather cloudy. The clouds started go go away around 11:00, and it was fairly clear until around 5:30, when it began to cloud up again. The temperature was around 40º until 1:00 pm or so, when it went up to 44º, and it has now dropped off a bit.


That is about all I have to report. I knitted and played a few games for a change, and I collected all the trash that had gotten strewn about on the counters. I think tomorrow will be a trash day, if I can get myself going.


The squirrels and birds are really happy with that pile of seed on my driveway, and I am seriously considering putting the bird feeders in the big spruce behind the house, rather than on the porch. Sorry...maybe next summer I will move them back, but with the wind and the snow, the white pine at the end of the deck just isn't a very good place for them. Or I may split them, and put some in the spruce and some in the pine. I have quite a few feeders, including one I found in the garage on Champine that I had never used. Now the only thing I have to do is repair the ones the coons and/or bear trashed. I think it might be easier to get to the spruce in the winter than to have to shovel off the porch to reach the ones on the deck. We shall see.


So now it is getting late, and I need to bathe tonight, and it is the end of a very quiet day in the field.


October 27

I knitted for a while, and didn't get to bed as early as I'd hoped, but I did sleep well again. The lake began to roar and the wind began to blow hard around 4:00 am, although since the wind was from the north-northeast, I could only hear a few blasts against the house. It was cloudy all night and the last of the clouds didn't blow away until about 10:30, after which is was an absolutely gorgeous day and perfectly clear until about 4:00, when a big dark cloud loomed up in the north, and about half an hour after that, I started seeing virga from the clouds, and then there was a sort of white haze over the area between the mountain and the shore, and shortly after that, somebody threw a couple of handfuls of snow pellets onto the porch, along with a sprinkle of rain...and then the sun came out briefly before another cloud rolled in.


I was sitting in the ugly chair, and it was fascinating to watch that cloud roll in, with all the virga, before the rain came down. When the sun came out, there was a rainbow way off in the east, which they saw from King Copper and Ron took a lovely picture of, but of course, the sun was too high for me to see it.


I saved the last picture from the camera, because it shows the virga extremely well. I didn't see that, or I might have taken a picture of it. I was at dinner at the time.


The temperature all day was right around 45º, and while the wind dropped off for a while, it is now back up into the 25-35 mph range, and the lake is howling again. It will be another good night to sleep.


I vegged. I knitted for a while, then I moved to the ugly chair and knitted some more. However, I soon turned to the embroidery and got another section done and started a new color. This is the last of the pale blue sweeps in the skirt. Slowly, ever so slowly, I am making progress, but I am very far from done.


When I went to dinner, Cindy was standing at the bar, and she invited me to join her, Mary and a guest at the motel for dinner, so we had a jolly time. In fact, we had such a jolly time that I didn't get home until 10:00.  The guest is leaving tomorrow, and she doesn't want to go...which I certainly understand. It was also a very good dinner. That is the second flatiron steak I have had, and I wish they would begin to carry them at Econo. It was delicious. So that was a nice evening. I haven't seen Cindy and Mary since early June, I think, but they have been busy with the motel and things.


And when we left, the huge, bright moon was shining through some broken clouds and that was nice to see, too.


So that was a nice day, and it's late, and I can jump into bed because I don't have to be presentable tomorrow, which I will do as soon as I finish with this.


October 26

It was another perfectly clear night last night, and the moon was glorious again. In fact, about 8:00 this morning, it was setting over the lighthouse into the Girdle of Venus, and it was so pretty I almost jumped out of bed and grabbed the camera. However, I knew it would be chilly outside (it was about 42º), and I just didn't feel like freezing my buns off. I guess I will just never be a dedicated photographer.


That was true tonight, too, when the full Hunter's Moon was rising, probably also over the lighthouse from the public dock, right as I was coming home from dinner. It is so big and bright and beautiful! But the camera, of course, is here at the house, and I probably would have needed a tripod to get a really good shot, and by the time I got here and assembled everything and got back, it would be all over. I can see it out the east windows, rising through the trees, and it is so pretty!


I seem to recall that a year or so ago, the Hunter's Moon guided me home from my October trip to Detroit.


You'll just have to make do with a picture from the webcam, which I thought was rather dramatic.


The clouds are coming, I guess, and tomorrow isn't supposed to be very nice, although they have pushed the snow ahead to Saturday night. This has been a really fantastic couple of days. The temperature peaked at 51º around noon, and it was over 50º for most of the afternoon, with not a lot of wind and hardly a cloud in the sky. 


I sat in the bathroom and finished the sock this morning, then I cast on a different one. This one is brighter - two shades of blue, light green, turquoise, orange (or peach, I can't decide) and yellow. In the ball it looks mostly green or turquoise, and I really haven't done enough to see how the colors will turn out, but I think it will look mostly blue, which is OK with me. That's the fun of knitting with these hand painted (or hand painted-looking) yarns: you never know, until you knit them up, what they will look like, and it frequently isn't at all what you expected.


I paid a bill and went to the post office, where I finally got rid of my barrel, although there was a lot of stuff to bring home, almost all catalogs and pleas for money. I have decided to start saving the pleas for money. I think I did that the last year I wintered on Champine, and by the end of the year, there were several hundred envelopes in the box, many of them duplicates. I guess the charities must think that works, although I tend to favor the ones that send one or maybe two pleas before the end of the year. The others are tree killers, and they annoy me.


Otherwise, I didn't do a lot, although I finished up converting August and September to Word format. The cool dampness in September really did a number on my arthritis, so I will have to trundle down to Houghton and get my painkiller prescription filled. There were days in September that I wanted to do something, and I hurt so bad I just couldn't.


I realized that I have done virtually nothing since I got back from Detroit, and there is only about a month till Thanksgiving, so I will have to take myself in hand and get back at it. I want to use the good china, so I have to get it unpacked, and there are still a lot of boxes in the great room. What they have in them, I don't know. I didn't think there were that many knickknacks lying around Champine. That part of it will be like Christmas. I have to decide what to do with the stuff that has been unpacked and is lying around on the table and the buffet, and I think I still have some dishwashing to do. Soooo...


Next week. So far I have been feeling pretty good, and my back has been OK except when I stand up for too long, so I guess I'd better take advantage. 


October is coming to an end, and the sun set at 6:44 tonight, after it didn't rise until 8:25 this morning. We're down to about 10¼ hours of daylight now, and losing it at more than 3 minutes a day. I came home in twilight tonight, and pretty soon it will be dark when I go to dinner. This has been a pretty good fall, weather-wise, but it is hard to see the days get so short so fast.


And that is all there is. The clouds have covered up the moon, but even cloudy it will be bright tonight. I think I will go up to the north end and knit a while and try to get to bed at a reasonable hour, which is apparently harder than it sounds. 


October 25

It cleared up beautifully last night, but the almost-full Hunter's Moon was so bright that there weren't any stars that I could see. This full moon (tomorrow) happens when the moon is closest to earth, so it is bigger and brighter than usual...and it sure was! It is setting over Porter Island, which means that it is shining in my eyes, but that didn't seem to bother me.


The only thing is, there is a comet in Perseus that is visible to the naked eye...but only if the moon isn't washing everything out. When I got my dinner tonight, rather late, the moon was shining in the back windows of the great room, as bright as anything, so I doubt I could see the comet if I looked for it.


I knitted for a while last night, and as a result it was after midnight when I finally got to bed, but I did sleep rather well, and I got up around 9:15, which is, I think, about the optimum, provided I spend the time asleep.


I knitted and did my morning surfing, and Ron sent me an email message saying that he and Mac would be around about 1:00 to work on the tractor. So I was ready for them, and while they did that, I swept the better part of 100 lbs of sunflower seed shucks out of the garage. I think I have mentioned the squirrels in the garage. Well, they had broken into both bags of sunflower seed (I know - my bad for having left it there) and eaten a lot of it and spilled the rest on the floor. I didn't do a really good job, but I did get a lot of it out, and I rescued probably 25 or 30 lbs of what was left.


I felt rather well this morning, and my back seemed fine, but after sweeping and bending over, even though I sat down several times, I was tired after they left...and when I tried to get up, I almost couldn't. Well, at least I got my exercise for the day.


I decided that the way to handle the auto-complete file was to delete it and start over, and so I tried to do that through IE, and after it hung up and maxed out the CPU for three hours or more, I decided that wasn't going to work. So I used a little utility I found to delete a lot of stuff, and we'll see where we go from here. I may still delete the whole thing. 


Do you know that if you have auto-complete turned on, every search, and every form and every little box you fill in in IE is saved to a file? Egad! I mean, I've been using this computer (well - this disk) for 7 years now! And I've filled in a lot of forms. I don't want to turn auto-complete off entirely, because it does shorten the time it takes to buy something, and I don't have many security worries about this computer, but gosh, someplace there were a few really, really large files. I think they are smaller now.


However, that took up a lot of time, and the list is still pretty long. Otherwise, I knitted, and I have maybe 60% of the foot of the sock done. It has turned out to be interesting, because there is this squiggly yellow stripe spiraling around the leg and foot, but it's not possible to tell how it will go. Sometimes it is almost horizontal, and I ran into a number of rows today where it was almost as vertical as it was when I began the leg. The color combination is actually rather masculine, and I think my dad would have liked this sock. Yellow was his favorite color, and it is rather stark against the dark blue, green and purple background. I will wear them, if I finish the second sock, because sometimes I don't feel like wearing really wild colors.


The weather was wonderful for late October. Like I said, it cleared up beautifully last night, and as a result the temperature bottomed out at about 31º, around 2:00 am, then it rose slowly to 51º at 6:00 pm. There was a breeze from the southwest, and it seems to be getting stronger. There was not a cloud in the sky, except for a couple of contrails, all day long, and it was a glorious day to be outside...with the proper clothing on, of course. Working in the garage was great. It is supposed to be clear all night and most of tomorrow, too, so we'd better enjoy it...the s-word is in the forecast for Saturday, although I wonder about that.


Anyway, it is getting to that time of year when almost anything might happen. The color is still pretty on this side of the hills. Ron was out hunting pictures today, and he got a few really good ones of late autumn in the Copper Country.


While we were working in the garage, and I was sweeping, a fat little chickadee flew in and lit on some paper in one of the boxes...so cute, and so tame. I think he was trying to tell me something. A lot of the stuff I swept out of the garage has good seeds in it, so they will just have to forage out there for a while until I get the feeders repaired.


I keep reading that squirrels find their food by smell, but I don't believe it. The black squirrels on Champine couldn't ever find what they had buried, and the red squirrels we have here even tore a hole in my bag of vermiculite, so I know they can't smell very well. And they totally ignored a bag of mixed seed. Well, now it is almost all in the breezeway, except for the shucks I couldn't sweep out on account of all the stuff in the garage. Maybe that will discourage them.


I have even thought about leaving the car running and closing the garage door, but then I would have to deal with either a stench or a lot of little bodies, and neither appeal to me very much. The roof vents they put in garages in Detroit have hardware cloth across the opening, so the critters can't get in that way. I might, if I ever get to talk to him again, ask Adam about the feasibility of nailing hardware cloth along the roof peak on the inside, to try to keep them from getting in that way. I really don't want squirrels in my garage!


This morning, after Buster went off for his siesta, Jasmine was bombing around the house, all full of energy and fun. She is still young enough to be very energetic. I invited her onto my lap, and she looked at me curiously, but she wasn't interested. She spends a lot of time on the kitty condo, looking out the back windows like there was a parade going by. She will be entranced when the critters and the birds get at that pile of sunflower seed...unless the bear or the coons come by and eat it all. I guess the mice and shrews have gotten the message that there are now two monsters in the house, and I don't think we have had any since that one batch back in late August (or was it early September?). I think that's one thing I won't have to worry about anymore.


So that was my day, and I actually did something for a change. It's too bad that I get so stiff and sore after I do anything physical, but that is the way my poor old bod is. Maybe a good night's sleep and I'll be OK again tomorrow...and I can sleep with the moon shining in on me. What a nice prospect.


October 24

Our great gale turned out to be not so much. The wind blew, and the lake roared, but not for long. The wind was from the north-northeast, which means it was fairly quiet in the house, although there were a few gusts that sounded like they were tearing the siding off. There was one handful of rain while I was in the bathroom, and that was about all of that. The wind peaked at just over 34 mph with gusts up to 47 mph, at around 1:00 am, and it started to die down after 4:00 am. It was still windy this morning, and the lake was still roaring, but all that is now over.


I knitted until I finished the leg of the sock, and I got to bed around 11:30, I think. It was a good night to sleep. 


I knitted some more this morning before I left the bathroom, much to Buster's disgust, and I got the first half of the heel done. Later this afternoon, I finished the second half, and I am now working on the foot. It amazes me how much faster a sock goes on #2 needles than it does on #1s, even though there aren't that many fewer stitches.

I tried a couple of different methods of turning the heel before I went back to the one I have been using all along. I don't like it very well, but I still haven't found the way that looks just like my old Adler sweat socks. I think they are in the dresser upstairs, and I will have to get them out and look at them again.


Otherwise, I surfed the net and went to the post office. I meant to return the barrel, but it seems I had gotten as much mail since last Saturday as I got all last week, so I brought the barrel home again. I am going to have to get my own barrel, I guess. Most of it was catalogs...the Christmas catalogs are starting to come in already!


I did spend some time poking around trying to find out how to delete some of the user names and passwords from my auto-complete file, which has over 3400 entries in it, most of them obsolete. I did find a utility that will do it, but I haven't done more than test it yet. That's what happens when you use the same computer for seven years.


Then I started converting the journal files to Word. I haven't done that since April, so there were lots to do, and I only got through July. When I do that, I read through them to correct any errors Word finds that FrontPage doesn't, and I really got caught up in it. Now that I write a journal every day, I really do forget all that stuff. I had particularly erased from my memory everything that went on while I was in Detroit in July. I am certainly glad that's over with! I will miss the old homestead at times, but things are better as they are. And I now see how much progress Jasmine has made toward becoming a full member of our household. She is doing great, and now that I will be here for a while, maybe she will come along even better.


I see now that I have been tending toward starting entirely too many sentences with "so", and using it much too much. I will try to bear that in mind in the future.


That took most of the late afternoon. I pan broiled a steak I should have put in the broiler, but it turned out pretty well anyway, and It was a good steak, so I had a nice dinner, albeit in pieces.


It was a good day to do something like that. It was cloudy and dreary all day, and the temperature was steady at about 40º, with a north wind around 20 mph for most of the day. When I went to the post office, it wasn't very nice out. I'm not used to having to zip up my jacket and wear gloves.


That was another day, and now I will do the bed thing again. It's quiet in the field these days. I think I am beginning to recover from my fast week last week, and maybe one of these days I can get back to the task at hand. I really hate the boxes in the great room, but there is still the problem of what to do with what's inside them.


October 23

I actually got to pet Jasmine! Will wonders never cease!


I was late getting to bed, partly because of a catalog, and partly because of the sock, and I was warm all night. I woke up for the second time around 4:00 and I was aware that there was at least one cat back-to-back with me. I rolled over carefully, and when I stretched out my arm, somebody sniffed at it and licked at very gently a couple of times, and I realized that I had both cats in bed with me. And Jasmine was up at about chest level.


So I sat up, thinking she would bolt, and she didn't, and I got to stroke her twice before she jumped down and went away. So I have actually laid a hand on my wary little kitty! I keep reminding myself that patience is a virtue, and it will be rewarded...She has a very silky feeling coat, but it is tight to her body, and it is a very small body.


I slept until around 10:30, I think, and then I had to pet the other cat and knit a while, so it was a truncated day, especially since I didn't eat anything other than orange juice until about 2:30. I did my morning surfing and fiddled around with the computer and knitted.


I did get another successful download. Every time lately that I have downloaded a .pdf file, I got a message saying that the file was a new format not supported by my version of the Adobe Reader, so I decided to download a new one...but it turns out that the only one that runs under Windows ME is at least 3 versions old. However, I haven't had any problems with the files I downloaded, except that one of them has hyperlinks in it that hang the whole computer if I try to click on them.


Oh, yes, and then I tried to figure out how to listen to an RSS feed, and I haven't got that yet. Windows Media recognizes the file type, but it hangs while trying to get it open. I will work on that later.


I was going to convert some journals to Word, but I made some changes to my little card with the sock data on it, so I worked on that instead.


It was another dreary, dull day, and we had about ¼" of rain after 3:00, but the wind has only lately started to pick up, and since it is from the north, I can't hear much in the office except that the surf is rising. The temperature briefly got up to 51º, then it dropped back to 46º, where it has been since it started to rain. I guess we are in for a small blow, but it isn't going to be anything near as big as they were predicting on Sunday. The last reading had the wind in the 27-35 mph range, so it isn't a gale yet.


However, there is the s-word in the forecasts for the first time this fall. I doubt there will be any snow in the harbor: the lake is too warm. Up in the higher elevations, they might see a few flakes. This is late. The PastyCammers reminded me this morning that we had snow on October 12 last year, and I was just reading back, and we had a terrific gale on the 12th and 13th, so we are way behind this year, with no snow at all until maybe now. John Dee maintains that may bode well for the winter, and I hope he is right.


And that is about all there is. I have been doing well on the leg of the sock, but that's about all. And tonight, I don't plan to be quite so late to bed. We'll see about that. The wind and the lake should mean a good night for sleeping, anyway.


October 22

I sat in the bathroom and did the ribbing on the #2 sock, but I still got into bed at a more or less reasonable hour, and I did sleep again. For a good part of the night, I had a bed partner, and at one point he must have burrowed under the covers, because he started kneading my back, and when I wanted to get up, his claws were caught in the back of my nightie and he wouldn't let go.


I guess it was around 9:30 when I got up, but when I looked at the sock, I didn't like the way the color pattern was coming out, so I tore out the whole thing and started over...twice. The first time, it looked like it was going to come out worse, so I did it over, starting, I thought, at the same place I had the first time, but this time I seem to have yellow spirals rather than stripes. It is strange yarn, but I will have to do the whole sock in order to see how it looks.


That's all right. When I started on the crazy socks, I did one of each colorway, to see how the patterns developed, then I went back and did the other sock later. The second batch of crazy yarn is going the same way, but that is all someplace in the basement. So I guess I will be making single socks for a while, then I will go back and complete the pair later. It keeps me from getting bored. I find I like knitting on #2 needles better than #1s - the #2s seem to go much faster than I would have expected, whereas the #1s seem to take forever.


Of course, I dropped one needle someplace in the office last night, and I can't find it...and I already had lost one in the bedroom on Champine, that, so far as I am aware, never came to light. I think Cynthia knows a knitting needle when she sees one, so I can't imagine whatever happened to it. That is the reason I have at least three sets of all my small needles. Someplace in the old journals there is the story of the #1 that disappeared and Buster (I guess) found it at least two years later. 


I did wash dishes, because I was running out of cat dishes, but otherwise I knitted and surfed.


The weather was uninspiring. It was cloudy all day, with almost no wind, and the temperature was in 46-48º range, although it is falling off a bit now. We are sitting on the edge of another gale, I guess, but it is supposed to be clear overnight. At sunset, there was a cloud deck over the peninsula and off to the west it was perfectly clear. Watching the various layers of cloud late this afternoon was neat, and there was a passable sunset, for a change. The sun is setting over the mountain lodge now.


So now it is bedtime again, and I will take the sock with me and see how the pattern develops. This disgusts Buster, who wants to sit on me in the morning and get brushed in the evening, and here I am doing something else. He tried to bite the yarn this morning. Too bad for him.


One time when I was in the powder room this afternoon, Jasmine came and sat in the doorway and looked at me when I talked to her, but she wouldn't come any closer to me. I can tell she is thinking about it, but she still won't trust me. I have forgotten to mention it, but apparently somebody even grabbed her when she was eating, because she sits under the ladder and usually won't touch her food until I leave the kitchen. Poor kitty!


So that is about it for today, and it's getting late. It's the calm before the storm in the field tonight.


October 21

I was tired last night. I knitted and read until I kept yawning so much I couldn't see, so I went to sleep and slept very well, with the usual walks, until around 9:30 this morning. 


I had knitted enough last night that I was close to the end of the foot, so I knitted a lot this morning, mostly with a cat on my lap, until I started the toe. 


I think Buster has a hairball...the result of not being brushed for a week. This morning he urped a bit, and this afternoon he was sitting on my lap and he had the hiccups. I think that is over now, but one of these days, a hairball will come up. Fortunately, he likes to be brushed.


Jasmine was full of ginger this morning, rushing up and down the hall and stomping on the window seat, but then she went away and apparently slept for most of the day.


It started out to be cloudy with an occasional ray of sunshine, but late in the day, it got very gloomy and dark. The temperature, which reached 60º at 2:00 am, dropped off and stayed right at 50º all day, and for most of the day there was no wind at all.


I did my morning surfing, but some things that happened yesterday left me with no Shockwave player at all, and try as I might, I couldn't get it to download. So I bit the bullet and upgraded my Internet Explorer, and then Shockwave loaded and everything seems OK now. That's the first software update I've done successfully in a very long time.


While all that was going on and I wasn't able to do anything else on the computer, I knitted, and after it was over and I was pretty sure it is working OK, I moved over to the ugly chair and finished the sock. It was a little gloomy to be looking out at the harbor, but that doesn't matter to me. The mountain is all dark green and golden, and even with no sun and a very gray harbor, it was pretty.


I wove in the ends of the sock, and I did the same for the pair I knit on #3 needles, so I now have another pair of wearable socks. These are fairly heavy, and very soft, because they are 100% merino wool. The only downside is that they aren't machine washable, so I probably won't wear them very much. The sock on the #1 needles turned out OK, although I don't really like the way the color pattern turned out.


I cast on the other #1 sock, but there are two balls of yarn on #2 needles that have been calling my name since I got them, so I cast them on, too. This yarn is printed in two shades of green, royal blue, purple and yellow, and I really want to see how the print works out. That means I will have to knit 4 or 5 inches, but that's all right. The #2 needles go faster than the #1s, I think. That is the only trouble with the #1 socks - they have a lot of stitches (72 around by 86 rows for the leg), so they take a long time to knit. Anyway, it's something to keep my hands busy.


I was still tired today, and I think I am making up for my early mornings and late nights last week, as well as the driving. So it will be another early night tonight, I think.


Unfortunately the rest of my Chinese food didn't survive the trip, so I had to throw it out, but tonight I had the rest of my blackened chicken and noodles, and that was good. I think I will have to cook this week, but I haven't decided what. I will check the fridge and the breezeway tomorrow and see whether I have green peppers and onions, and then decide what to do.


Right now, I think I will toddle up to the north end again and get to bed early. It is so nice to be home with my kitties and my comfy bed and my lovely shower. Too bad I can't get the doctors to come to me.


October 20

The wind blew hard all night long from the northwest, with gusts up to at least 37 mph, but it certainly didn't keep me awake. I slept very well, thank you, with the exception of an hour or so between 3:00 and 4:00 when I was uncomfortable. I woke up at 9:30 to find a cat back-to-back with me, so I came to slowly, but finally I had to boot him out.


It was mostly cloudy and windy this morning, with whitecaps on the harbor, and a temperature of about 50º. Eventually, it cleared up for a while, and the wind died down, and the temperature briefly reached 61º before it fell back to the low 50s, with no wind at all. It wasn't a bad day outside at all.


I did my morning surfing at my leisure and had old sandwiches for breakfast...I got some eggs today, and I think it will be nice to have something else besides sandwiches for a change.


Buster is still mostly hanging around me, purring, although he did retire to the sofa to sleep in the sun this afternoon. I think Jasmine is glad to have me back, too. She bounced around for quite a while...I'm afraid she likes to catch and eat flies. Yack! Then she settled down in the pink chair, and although she sat up when I went by the first time, she didn't move, and when I got home from dinner, she was sitting down and she didn't move. A little bit more progress, maybe.


I went to the post office and retrieved my barrel of mail, almost all catalogs and pleas for money. My phone bills were not in the pile, so I was on the phone with AT&T again, and this time I spent over 30 minutes on hold. But apparently I paid the bill that was due on Monday, so I am showing a zero balance, which is the way I like it. And they are going to send the bills again, I think. What a fiasco this has been! I did find out when the next bill will be sent, so I can look for it, too. Between the utility and the post office, it's a miracle anything ever gets done right.


I went to Mariner tonight, and evidently the season is over. There were people there, but not a lot. However I had blackened chicken on a bed of fettuccini Alfredo, and it was yummy, but so much I brought another meal home with me. That is the thing I've found about eating out: the meals are fairly expensive, but most times, I bring some home with me, so essentially, I get two meals for my $30. And I don't have to cook or eat my own cooking, which is a distinct advantage.


I did do some things today. I unpacked the train case and the suitcase and put them away, and I got the rest of the stuff out of the car and somewhat sorted out, although there is stuff in the breezeway, and I forgot to bring the camera case down to the office. So almost all traces of my having been away are gone, pretty much. I need to put the wash in the laundry bags, and eventually there is cat food to bring in, but that's about it.


So now life can go on at its former even pace, and I'm home for the winter. That's nice. It's early tonight, but I think I will go up to the north end and read a while and knit. I am making good progress on the foot of the sock, so I will see if I can do some more. I am sure I will have a cat with me. Happy as I am to be home, poor Buster is even happier. Poor little kitty. Life in the big bad world is hard on sensitive little people like him.


While I was gone, the leaves on the lake side of the hills turned, all in a big hurry. The mountain is golden, and when the sun shines on it, it is really pretty. However, the noontime sun is visible in the south windows now - at noon it is only 32º up in the sky and sinking fast. The sun is setting way over the Mountain Lodge, and by the time it is clear at sunset again, it may have disappeared out of the camera picture. We are losing daylight at over 3 minutes a day - 24 minutes a week - and hurrying toward the dark days of winter. All the migratory birds are gone, and it's pretty quiet in the woods. I guess we should be happy that it's been as warm as it has. We still haven't had a frost in the harbor. Maybe that means when winter does come it will come hard and long. For the sake of my friends, I certainly hope so.


And that is all there is. It's time to toddle up to the north end and pull up a warm cat.


October 19

I made it home safe and sound.


First of all, I'm really sorry that last night's entry didn't get uploaded. You can read it below, if you want to. I was having trouble with the Ramada's wireless all evening - it kept dropping out, and about 9:00 we had a thunderstorm and it went away completely. It was still gone this morning. So I wrote the entry, but it didn't get posted. Very sorry about that.


For various reasons, it was 11:00 before I got to bed, and I slept OK, except for a while between 3:00 and 4:00 when various aches and pains took over. Again, I woke up at about 7:45 and after thinking about it, I decided I might as well get up and try to get a relatively early start.


Breakfast was better than dinner: they've changed their dinner menu but they haven't changed their breakfast menu, and they have a dish of hash browns, various meats, eggs and cheese that I like a lot. It's a ton of food, and I didn't eat it all, but it gave me enough of a pad that I only ate half a sandwich about 2:00 and I didn't begin to get hungry until around 6:00. I also snuck in some real coffee - they have good coffee - and it didn't bother me at all.


So I got on the road before 9:30. It was still cloudy and spitting rain, but it was actually brighter than it was going south on Monday, so I was able to see more of the color, which was actually very pretty. In the few days I was in Detroit, the birches have turned and the tamaracks have begun to change, so it was rather colorful for most of the way home. 


While there were little sprinkles occasionally the whole way, it started to rain in earnest about the time I left Negaunee, which is where I picked up all the traffic. The rest of the trip, there was hardly any traffic at all, but I got to Marquette around 1:00, I think, and there were a ton of people going from there to Houghton, some of them very slowly, some of them entirely too fast. It was sort of ugly at times. 


However, I pulled into the garage before 4:30, so stopping at Grayling is a good option. I will have to do it again. I wasn't tired and I wasn't stiff and sore. And I was very glad to be home.


Buster was very glad to see me. While I did my daily surfing, he sat on my lap and purred almost loud enough to gag himself. I don't hear him purr like that very often. I haven't seen Jasmine yet.


Ron did lock me out of the breezeway, but he had apparently misunderstood which door I meant not to lock. Not a real problem, except that I had to come in the front door in the rain.


It apparently rained lightly all day long here, but a while ago, the wind started to blow and the rain started to come down hard. The temperature at Grayling was around 58º this morning, and for most of the day on the road and here it was around 55º. It was blowing hard when I stopped at Newberry, and I needed a jacket, but otherwise it wasn't a bad day to drive.


My plan was to stop at Baraga and fill the gas tank and empty the bladder, but when I got there, they were lined up at the pumps and it was raining rather hard, so I skipped it. The only problem with that was that around Houghton I started getting cramps in my bladder. At least I can hold it while I'm sitting down! And actually, I did rather well, only leaking a little before I got into the house. But it was a rather uncomfortable drive.


So eventually I got the car unloaded, and when I investigated, I discovered what the smell was: I had miscalculated when I took cucumbers and tomatoes with me, and they had pretty much liquefied. Yuck. Everything else was OK, although the chicken broth tasted a little off, so I just ate the stuff in it. My Sichuan noodles were good.


I moved files around, and I tried again to find some information on the Linksys site, which I did, I guess, but now, of course, I don't have a wireless network to attach to. I may have to print some of those directions and haul the laptop over to Mariner to try to figure out how to make it recognize that it has changed networks. I did finally figure out that "javascript void(0)" means there is a missing link...the link marked "Ask Linksys" isn't working. Thanks a lot, Linksys.


When I checked my voice mail, there were two more dunning messages from AT&T, so I immediately called them and after 40 minutes on the phone, at least 10 of them on hold waiting for a supervisor, I think maybe, just maybe, I have the situation resolved, although we'll have to wait and see, and another bill is due on Monday, so I will have to put that one on the credit card, too. It still makes me terminally angry to be threatened with disconnection because of their error.


So anyway, it's early, but I think I am going to call it an early night tonight, jump in my lovely shower, and then into my comfortable bed and listen to the wind and the rain. It is very good to be home again. All is well in the field.


October 18

Oh! I am tired!


I had intended to get to bed early last night, and I started out just fine, knitting and listening to the radio until about 9:30, and then I packed everything up and getting ready for my bath. But then I sat in the bathroom staring at the floor, apparently for over half an hour, which meant I didn't get into bed until 11:00. I did sleep well, but I had to walk at 7:45. I had set the alarm for 8:00, so I just got up. Yuck! 


That gave me more than enough time to pack up, so I did my morning surfing after all, on the battery.  I moved the car close to the room, and  I  had everything in the car, and I had had my juice and my yogurt by 9:15, so I sat and knitted some more before it was off to the doctor.


I was early there, too, so I knitted a while before I went to the office. I am making great progress on the sock. The doctor was running late, and when I met her, I saw why. She is cast in the same mold as my cardiologist, and I would be glad to have her for my primary physician, except that doctors are like hairdressers - you don't change people at the same shop. My only problem with her was that she talked so fast, with her Indian accent, that sometimes I couldn't understand her.


However, she was extremely helpful. She asked me what I was taking for pain from my arthritis, and when I told her, nothing, she  gave me a prescription for Tylenol 3, which ought to solve the worst of my backaches. She  reassured me about the neurontin, and gave me a new prescription for it. I think that might help to get rid of the numbness in the bottoms of my feet. She assured me that yes, it is possible to pass a gallstone, so I guess that must be what happened, since I haven't had any attacks since June.


There was some other stuff, and the usual blood work, as well as urine tests, which I haven't had any of in a long time. Whew!


I feel like I have been well poked and processed.


Debbie had warned me it would be at least 12:00 before she would be there, so I went back to the car and knitted. I did call her when it got to be 12:30 and I hadn't seen her, but she showed up shortly, having gotten caught in construction and traffic on I-94.


We had a nice, long lunch, with lots of good conversation, and a good lunch, although she thought she was paying for her own lunch and she didn't eat all that much. I had blackened salmon, and it was lovely. And we had crème brulee with raspberries for desert.


After we talked some more in the parking lot I was finally free to start  north...at 3:00!


I have to mention that it was raining this morning when I packed up the car, but it stopped before I left the motel. It was damp and nasty anyway, and there were spritzing rain until north of Flint. 


Because I left so late, I ran into quite a bit of traffic from Detroit to about Bay City, but north of there, it dwindled to a car about every mile by the time I got to Grayling. The double-length flatbed truck I followed off the freeway must have wondered what I was doing, because I followed him into the gas station. 


I got to Grayling about 6:00, I think, so I did make good time. The motel turned from a Holiday Inn to a Ramada only four months ago, so nothing much has changed except that there isn't a fridge in the room anymore...and I think the people are nicer and more on the ball. The restaurant has changed its menu for the worse, however. They used to have all sorts of strange contrived dishes, some of which were very interesting. Now the menu is very American and very dull, with lots of sandwiches. Too bad. I had a steak, and it was OK, but much too big for my second dinner of the day, so it is in the cooler with everything else.


I am very suspicious of that cooler, which was smelling sort of funny inside when I took it out to the car last night. I may have a real mess on my hands when I get home.


I don't know about the wireless. The only way I could connect here was to delete and reinstall the software. There has to be a better way, but I was having such problems with the connection that I wasn't able to get to the Linksys website to ask them about it. I will try again and see what I can do, or else I will wait until tomorrow.


There are thunderstorm and possible tornado warnings here for tonight, and I guess it is likely to rain tomorrow, although I managed to dodge all the rain coming north. That is OK. This leg has shortened the trip tomorrow to a reasonable length, so if it is slow, that won't matter much. The temperature was in the low to mid 70s all the way north, which is a little too warm for this time of year.


There was rain almost all day in Copper Harbor, with temperatures in the low 50s.


So that is about all I know, and I am very tired, and I will be very glad to get home tomorrow to my kitties and my lovely big stall shower. And the clean, fresh, cool air of Mother Superior. It was a pretty good trip, all things considered, but I'm glad it's over.


October 17

One more half day and I can point the car north.


I slept fairly well last night, although I had some problems with sore knees and things. My bed has a cushy pad on it besides the sheepskin, and it cushions much better than a regular bed. I could have kept sleeping when the alarm went off -yup, I'm using the alarm - but I felt like I'd had enough sleep.


My hygienist was late, as usual. The only time I can recall that she wasn't late was when I was. So I finished the ribbing on the sock while I waited. Unfortunately, I didn't get off scot-free. When i come back in April, I will be prepped for two crowns, actually I think the top and bottom teeth that meet on the  right side - #3 and #29 - and I will have to come back two weeks later to get the crowns put in. That might work out all right, because I will also be seeing the eye doctor then so if there are new glasses or anything, they would be ready when I got back here. I hate to have to come twice, but I do want to keep my teeth in good shape.


When I got back to the motel, I finished the sock and started working on the one on #1 needles again, and that took up most of the afternoon.


I took some stuff out to the car, to make it a bit easier tomorrow, and I decided to eat in, so I went out to my favorite Chinese carryout place and got some good stuff to eat. I hope I can preserve the leftovers - and there were a lot of leftovers - because it was yummy. They make what they call special wonton soup, which has just about everything you can imagine in a chicken broth - wontons, slices of pork, bok choy, mushrooms, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, a little spinach, I think, green onions, and probably some more stuff. It is really good, and it is one of the things that sustained me right after I got out of the hospital from the transplant. It goes down really easily, but they only sell it in quarts, so I have a lot left. The only thing is, Chinese is messy, and it dripped all over everything. I think it is safe in its bag, but it sure was a mess while I was eating. How I missed dripping it all over my tee, I don't know.


So that was most satisfactory. I have tried to arrange things so that I won't have a horrible time packing up in the morning, but I'm not promising anything. I will pack the computer, so I won't be able to do my surfing until tomorrow evening, but that's all right. I've logged on before Charlie had the PastyCam picture of the day posted for two days in a row. Evidently he is sleeping in lately.


And that is about all I know. The motel in Grayling has wireless access, too, so there should be a journal tomorrow night, and then I will be home again. 


I guess this worked out OK, and I will probably stay here again, just because it is so convenient. I mean, it's not a bad place, it just isn't top-notch, but they are trying.


So that is all there is, and as soon as they stop playing Mozart, I will pack it up for the night. I don't live here anymore, and I don't like to come here anymore, either.


October 16

Well, there. Day one is over.


I did not sleep well last night. That is a usual result of taking sleeping pills, but it was hot and noisy as well. The noise was to be expected, since this motel is on the freeway, and I haven't figured out yet why it is so hot in here. I have been running the air conditioning full bore, and it is beginning to be tolerable in here, but it will be warm again before  morning.


I set the alarm for 8:30 and I did my morning surfing, but I was moving slowly and it was still a little late when I got to the doctor's office. And then they proceeded to lose my paperwork and it wasn't  until I had sat there knitting for 40 minutes and asked about it that I finally got my blood drawn and got upstairs to the doctor's office. I wasn't particularly upset about it, but it was a little annoying and I'm sure it upset Dr. Lehman's schedule.


The good news is that, if the blood work looks OK, no more CT scans. And come back in six months. He doesn't know why my feet are getting numb and he doesn't know why I am still running a cognitive deficit, but anyway I reported all that. And, being an oncologist (albeit one who had his gall bladder removed) he doesn't think I have actually passed the gallstone and  he doesn't know why I have stopped having attacks. But he is a nice guy and I like him. He certainly knows oncology backwards.


After that, I got gas, and I noticed that the car wash was open and it was only spritzing rain, so I got the car washed on the outside. Even though it will get rained on, it is much cleaner than it was before.


Then it was north, first to Kroger, to lay in a few things like cheese and onion rolls that I can't get locally, and then on to the pet supply store, where I got $96 in cat food. That won't last six months, but for a while at least the kitties will have a wonderful variety of food to eat.


Just after I got back to the motel, Debbie called. I had emailed her last night, and when the dentist couldn't get hold of me, they called her. So my appointment is now 11:15 instead of 1:15, which is just fine with me. She had to hang up in the middle because she had a customer. She is selling condos now. I bet she is good at it.


Even though I brought back a sandwich (and a pretty good one), I decided I wanted to eat out tonight. There is a little restaurant called The Blue Pointe which is owned by one of the Muer kids, which my family and I patronized regularly until my mother died. I haven't been there much since then, but I decided this was the time to go.


Well. When we used to go, it was a nice, moderate-priced restaurant with good food. The food is still good, but I guess I am out of touch with big-city prices. I had sautéed lake perch (which is one of my very most favorite fish dishes) and two JDs, and with tip, the bill came to almost $50! Wow! Am I spoiled! 


It was also amusing to look at the other patrons. The security guard apologized because they only have two handicap parking places, and I could see why when I got inside. The vast majority of the patrons looked more like my mother's age than mine, and there were more tottery, cane-toting people than I have seen in a long time. And when I got up to leave, a lady who must be at least 80 offered to help me! At least I didn't feel bad about tottering around!


Anyway, I am glad I went, and I really enjoyed my meal. The only thing that is sad about it is that the neighborhood where it is located is getting steadily worse, and one of these days no one is going to want to go there after dark. So far they are braving it, and I am glad to see that. They have specialized in fish and pasta (they took over the place from an Italian restaurant), and I had both, and they are both still really good.


I am tottering more than usual mostly because of the weather. The temperature was in the low 60s and the humidity has been in the 80% - 90% range. This kind of weather is not good for my joints. Well, only another day and a half.


When I got back here, the wireless was down, but it came back after a while. And that's the trouble with computers.


In Copper Harbor, it was just about like it was here only 15º cooler. The temperature was about 47º all day, and we had 0.28" of rain. Kind of yucky all over.


I made my reservation at Grayling for Thursday, so I guess I am leaving then. It's just as well. It looks like there will be rain for the rest of the week, which means a slower trip, so taking it in two days will be better.


I have been knitting on the sock and listening to music, even though the speakers in the laptop are horrible, and I guess I will do that for a while longer before I attack the shower again.


It isn't the best shower I have ever had. It is a stall shower, and it isn't very big, and before I was done, I had water all over the floor of the bathroom, and besides, with it being so humid, I was dripping from sweat and I had a hard time getting dried off.


And then today I wet my pants twice. I hope that is just another passing phase, or I will begin to have to wear diapers all the time, and I would hate that (and it's expensive). Anyway, I brought two extra pairs of jeans, so maybe if I'm really careful, I can make it home without wet, smelly pants. It's hell to get old, and some of the reasons aren't the big ones.


So that was my day.


Whew, the crazy cursor just closed FrontPage on me, but fortunately, it selected "yes" and not "no" and I didn't lose this whole entry. I think it's time to publish before something worse happens!


October 15

Wow, it's been a while since I worked on the laptop, and it is driving me crazy! The cursor keeps jumping around to weird places. I think I had that problem when I was here in July?


The good news is that I made it, and the wireless adapter works just fine, thank you, although I have to say I don't think it's very secure.


After I got things together on the laptop and moved it and the TravelDisk to the car, I trundled up to the north end and knitted a few rows before I gave in to two double JDs and went to bed.


I did wake up around 6:00 and again around 7:00, but I decided it was better to get as much sleep as possible, so I didn't get up until around 8:00. That's before sunrise!! There was some sunshine on the mountain this morning.


I did my morning surfing and had something to eat, and  it took me over 2½ hours to get everything into the car and done around the house.  Oh, well.


Jasmine sort of ran around being cute, but Buster wanted to sit on me, and when I finally left, he was sitting by the stairway with his whiskers hanging down. I think he really didn't believe I was going to leave again.


I pulled out of the garage at 10:48 exactly. I pulled into the Parkcrest Motel at  about 8:45...so I can make it in 10 hours.


I can't say the trip was interesting. The color is long past in the UP, and the only thing of interest is that the streams and ditches are full of water, which they weren't when I went home in July. There is a lot less grassy sand at the bottom of Keweenaw Bay. For all of the trip across the UP, I was skirting a cloud mass, so I was in sunshine and there were clouds and rain, I think, to my south. It was a definite line in the sky. Very interesting.


Of course, when I turned south on M-123, I drove right into it, but I conveniently missed all the rain. Only it was as dark as twilight all the way south until it actually got dark. I mean, it was dark enough that my headlights were on.


Color is spotty in the LP. Some places were clearly past their prime, some places were far from reaching it, and some places would have been spectacular if there had been any sunshine. South of West Branch, it will be some time before it reaches its peak. I do wish it had been sunnier, because there were some places around Gaylord and Grayling that would have been spectacular.


Traffic was light until I got south of Grayling, and it was steadily heavier all the way from there. It never ceases to amaze me the number of cars going in all directions in southeastern Lower Michigan. It wasn't exactly easy after it got dark. There were the usual morons who had their bright lights on coming toward me, and there was lots of traffic going with me, too.


The funny thing was, I noticed that all the tail lights seemed to be very fuzzy, and then I discovered that I was looking through the middle of my glasses - where the multifocals kick in. When I looked through the tops like I am supposed to, it was much better. I recall my favorite ophthalmologist once grabbing the top of my head and pushing it down when she was checking my glasses.


However, I don't know how much longer I will be able to do this long-distance driving at night. The splattering of lights is getting more and more obvious, and eventually it is certainly going to interfere with my ability to see to drive in traffic at night. I guess that is the time I will have to have the cataracts done. I'm fine on my dark country roads at home. It's down here in the city, where I don't want to be anyway, that I have a problem.


I noticed, after I got south of Bay City, that they're driving just as fast or faster than they were the last time I was here. They still believe that 75 is the speed limit, not the road number. Of course, there was the guy in the Porsche who passed everybody doing at least 80, whom we later passed on the side of the road as he closed the passenger side door of the car...and then a few minutes later he passed us again. I think it was a Porsche 940. It's been a while since I've seen one of those.


The temperature was in the low 50s until I got south of Bay City, then it was in the low 60s.


Anyway, I made it here, and the room seems to be OK, although it must have been at least 80º inside when I got here, and I was dripping copiously before I turned the air conditioner on and got the temperature down to a reasonable number. Of course, I also had to unload all my stuff from the car, park it across the alley, and crawl up to the second story hallway to get ice. I am cooling down now.


The wireless works just fine, and it is pretty fast, but I don't think it is very secure. I didn't even have to log on to anything. It connected, I brought up my homepage, and there it was. 


I'm not quite sure why the last picture was at 7:37, but it does occasionally miss a picture. The 7:37 picture was a pretty one, but it was getting cloudy...and there was a fly on the window. I just looked back at some of the pictures of the day, and it's one of those days when I wish I could save the entire day...and I wish I was there to see it. There were lots of lovely high cirrus clouds in mackerel formations, and a lot of sunshine, too. Most of the clouds were south of the harbor until late in the afternoon, when lower clouds began to overtake the high ones. Oh, well. I'll be back on Friday.


So that is all I  know, and I need to go to bed. I miss the field and I miss my kitties already, and I don't know about this motel stuff. It is right on the freeway, and it is noisy. I guess I'll just have to cope.


October 14

I got into bed at a sort of reasonable hour last night, but I didn't sleep very well. Part of it was my brain going in circles, and part of it was that I couldn't get the temperature right. I frequently have that problem when I am not quite well. So I was up a lot, and it was early morning before I really got some solid sleep, to wake up with a cat staring at me.


I had apparently slept for almost four hours, and I leaked a bit on the way to the bathroom. That seems to be another side effect of not being quite well, and I wet another pair of jeans today - fortunately not the pair I intend to wear tomorrow. I am happy to say I didn't feel quite as bad as I did yesterday, or I would never get out of here.


I did the heel of the sock last night - on #3 needles it isn't very many rows and it doesn't take long, so now I am working on the leg. This pair of socks is knitted toe-up. I've done several this way, and frankly, I prefer the other way. The only reason I would ever do any more toe-up is if I really didn't think I had enough yarn in a ball (which was why I did the others), but I now know that 200 yards is plenty for one sock, so I won't have to do that anymore.  Anyway, I predict that I will have finished this pair before I get home again.


I didn't exactly diddle around, but I didn't really work hard, either, and I am doing it sort of bas-akward. The cooler is in the car, and so is my lunch bag and the camera. However, while I have set out the clothes I intend to take, I haven't even gotten the suitcase out of the closet yet.


I started to get a call from Debbie, but her ex and kids turned up, and she hasn't called back. I think I am going to have lunch with her before I take off on Thursday. Since I have decided only to go as far as Grayling, it shouldn't matter too much when I leave town. I think I will suggest The Hill, which is where my realtor took me the day of my closing, and it was very nice. Since I will be down in that area, it would be very convenient for me. We shall see.


I stopped for the rest of the last fish, and Buster thought it was as good as I did. Jasmine wanted some, too, but she was too early and she didn't stay around. Poor kitty - I am going to have to try to teach her all the things she should have learned as a kitten, like how to get petted and how to beg for food.


I did get some order in the office and I did a fast job on the kitchen. I had forgotten that I hadn't cleaned the stove in a while, and I had been frying things, so that was a mess, but it looks OK now. I didn't even try to get a lot of the stuff off the counters. Ron will just have to cope.


So now this is the next order of business, and moving the last files to the laptop, then I can pack that up and put it in the car, with the TravelDisk. I found the DSL modem in the bag the TravelDisk moves in, but I don't think I am going to take it. They do wireless and cable, but I doubt they do DSL at the motels.


It was a fairly nice day today, although it got increasingly cloudy as the day wore on, and it sounds now like it may be damp in Detroit and on the trip back, which is all the more reason to do it in two days. It was 40º all night and 50º all day, and there was some sunshine - enough to warm the office up to 76º, which is really too warm to be rustling around. There won't be any stars tonight.


And I guess that's all. Unless the wireless doesn't work and I can't connect dial-up, there will be no lapse in the journal entries. I am going to be late tonight, so I suppose that will mean I will be late leaving and late tomorrow, too, but Wednesday morning I should be able to catch up on my sleep.


I have to go, and oh, how I don't want to! Too bad I can't convince my doctors and dentists to visit me here...


October 13

I got ready for bed early, but I sat and read and knitted for quite a while, so it was late again when I went to sleep. I slept fairly well...well enough that I almost wet the bed. When the potty dream had somebody running around from toilet to toilet, I guessed it was time to get up before I had an accident, which I almost did.


About 4:00 or so I was in the bathroom and it looked rather clear outside, nothing spectacular, but pretty good, so when I stood up, I stared out to the northwest, where Cassiopeia and Cepheus were setting, and lo and behold, there was the Milky Way! It was there for sure - no averted vision. That is the first time I think I've ever seen that part of it. I know that if I'd come down to the south end of the house and stuck my head out the door, Orion was high up in the southeast, and I bet that part of the Milky Way was visible, too, but I opted for bed again.


When I think that the last time I saw the Milky Way at all in the city was back in the early '50s, and that wasn't too good, it is a real joy to know that on a clear night I can peer out my windows, through the screens, and see it. We really do have clear dark skies here. And according to the Clear Sky Clock, seeing last night was supposed to be about average, and I think it was. I couldn't see any of the stars of the Little Dipper except for Polaris and the two end stars in the bowl, so it wasn't exceptional. We actually don't have very many nights of exceptional seeing, but when we do, it's awe-inspiring and confusing...there are so many stars I have a hard time tracing out the constellations. For some reason, when the limiting magnitude gets down to 6.5 or less, the differences in magnitude between 2 and 4 seem to wash out and all the stars are bright. Maybe sometime I'll see that again.


Anyway, I woke up around 9:00 and had to walk again, and I decided I might as well get up. That was a mistake. I felt lousy all day, like I might be coming down with something, and my back hurt, so I didn't do nearly as much as I'd hoped to do. I knitted for a while, too, and started the heel of the merino sock. I started loading the dishwasher again and I got the trash under control, but I didn't unload the car until I got back from dinner, and all the stuff is out in the breezeway. 


I did wash. After I wet my pants for the fourth time this week, I got undressed and washed jeans, and there is a load of light-colored stuff ready to go into the dryer when the jeans are dry. Those jeans are my most comfortable ones, and I'd like to wear a pair on the drive south. I can get into all my jeans again, but some of them are tighter than others.


And that was about it, so tomorrow I will be scrambling. I intend to get to bed very early tonight so that maybe I can shake this thing and get an early start tomorrow so that I can get some of the things done that must be done before I go.


I was sitting in the bathroom knitting this morning, when Jasmine came right up beside me and sniffed the yarn, which was dangling down, then she grabbed it and ran off with it. I hung on and got it away from her, but what a little snot she is! I also discovered that one ball of the yarn I got last week was out of the bag and on the floor this morning. While Buster was sleeping with me, she was certainly keeping herself busy.


It was a gorgeous day today. There were a few clouds in the morning, but they went away and it was clear and sunny all day long, except that the sun set into a cloudbank in the west. The temperature was 45º all day, and while it was windy overnight and this morning, the wind has died down to nothing now. The harbor was so blue, and there were a few little breakers between Porter Island and the lighthouse. Lovely!


I ate at Mariner tonight - prime rib - and it was quite busy, with a lot of guys who looked like hunters. Small game, maybe? Anyway, there are still a lot of tourists in town.


This morning I loaded the wireless software on the laptop and determined how it works, and tonight I updated the important files. I will be taking the TravelDisk with me, but it's always nicer to have the files up-to-date so I can start right in when I boot up.


So that is all there is, and after I get this to upload, I will toddle up to the north end, put the next load in the dryer, and try really hard to get to bed early tonight. I don't like this feeling that I almost have a cold.


October 12

Instead of going to bed, I backed up the files to the TravelDisk, then I hauled out the laptop and updated the antivirus (on dialup), while I knitted. After that was over, I went up to the north end and knitted some more, so it was late when I got to bed. However, I slept fairly well. At least it was 5 hours before I woke up the first time, and that doesn't happen very often. I was a little more wakeful after that because of the usual aches and pains, but I can't complain.


When I got up, rather late, I petted a cat, then I knitted some more and started the toe of the sock. Buster was happy to be sitting on my lap, but he wasn't too happy that I knitted rather than paying strict attention to him. It didn't make him move, though.


I was slow to get at the task of the day, but I did manage to get it done before the compactor closed. I changed cat pans, gathered up all the trash I could find, and hauled it all out to the car. When I opened the car, I remembered that there is still stuff in it. I will have to get that out tomorrow, for sure. Then a quick trip to the compactor, and I spent the rest of the afternoon finishing the sock. 


So that pair is done, and I could legitimately start another pair on #2 needles. However, I got some yarn the other day to make a coordinated hat, gloves and scarf to go with my parka, and when the rest of the yarn comes, I may just begin the hat. Or maybe I will start some of my new sock yarn. In the meantime, I have the other second sock, the one on #3 needles, started, and I can work on that. I like to work on that one, since the yarn is 100% merino wool and very, very soft. The colors are pretty, but I don't like the way the yarn is printed. I prefer either definite stripes or definite blotches, and this one has neither.


The socks I just finished didn't come out quite as nicely as I had hoped, because, while the two balls were supposed to be the same dye lot, the way the blotches came out is entirely different on the two socks, so they almost don't look like a pair. Oh, well, they are mostly under my pants anyway, so it probably won't ever be noticed except by me.


Buster might know something is up, and he has been wanting to sit on me all the time. How he could know I can't figure out, since I haven't done anything out of the ordinary yet. Unless, as I sometimes suspect, he can understand a lot more English than cats are supposed to be able to. Very curious.


Jasmine was staring out the door when I came home tonight, and the look on her face was "Oh, you again!" However, frequently she has been joining us in the bathroom at night. But where Buster lies on the bath rug closest to me, she lies down as far away as she can get and still be on the rug. One of these days...


The weather has moderated quite a bit. It was cloudy for most of the day, but there were breaks in the clouds occasionally, and it cleared up nicely late in the afternoon. The wind shifted around to the north and it has  died down almost completely. The temperature is still low - it was around 42º all day - but it wasn't nearly so damp, so it wasn't bad outside at all. I did get out my heavy fleece jacket, but that was because I was only wearing a tee. I didn't want to dress too warmly for indoors, since I knew I would be getting sweaty when I started rustling around.


Oh, yes, the other thing I managed to do while I was waiting for the laptop last night was to get the auto capture back on for the camera. I had to try several times, but I found a combination of changing the start and stop times and setting auto capture on that actually rewrote the file correctly. This morning I got an answer from the author, which I will carefully save, but we got pictures of sunrise today for a change. Not that there was anything much to see, since it was still cloudy then, and I set the start time too close to sunrise. I tweaked it again and it should be better tomorrow.


The problem with the start and stop times is that I want to save the minimum number of black pictures, but that number is somewhat dependent upon sky conditions. When it is cloudy, it can get dark earlier and stay dark longer than when it's clear. So when I start fiddling with the numbers, I sometimes have to try it several times to get it right. I want to make sure it's OK before I go.


Tonight I went to Harbor Haus for the last fish, and it tasted especially good to me. I brought half home with me for Sunday, and I had a piece of chocolate pecan pie in celebration. It was relatively busy, and it looked like later in the evening it would get more busy. People were waiting when I left. I will miss them. I like Mariner, but Harbor Haus is special, and in the depths of winter sometimes I get really hungry for plank-style whitefish or rotisserie duckling or lamb chops or flank steak with whiskey butter sauce (and spicy mushrooms) or any number of other things. However, they will be back next year, and maybe I won't have to miss a whole month of dinners like I did this year.


So that is all there is.


I think I will go up to the north end and unload my train case and begin to repack it, then I will knit a while. Maybe, just maybe, I can get to bed at a reasonable hour tonight?


October 11

I knitted, so I was late getting to bed, but I did sleep well and since there were no nasty phone calls, I slept late...and that ended any thought of doing much today. Time is marching on, and I shall have to do something. I slept long enough that my back was stiff, so that was my other excuse.


It was another gray, dreary day, with a temperature that hung in at about 42º and strong east winds, in the 20 mph range. The winds are dying down now, and the lake is quieting down a bit.


I didn't go out, but my new neighbor, two doors south, stopped by to introduce herself and give me a little package of home-made cookies (very good), and it was raw and nasty outside. I could tell that the barometer was rising, though, because Jasmine was full of ginger for most of the day.


So that is all I know, and I will try to get to bed a little earlier tonight, because tomorrow is trash day, which means also doing cat pans. And that's for positive.


October 10

It was another night of knitting. I finished the leg and the first half of the heel, so it was late when I got to bed. I didn't sleep very well. It was really noisy: I didn't notice when I left the office that we were having a gale. The weather forecast said it would be "blustery", but it didn't say anything about 35 mph winds, which blew for most of the night. The wind was from the northeast, so it wasn't battering the house, but it was certainly making the lake kick up a fuss.


I was wakeful because I was achy. I walked more than I have in a long time yesterday, and it felt like it when I got into bed. So I was wakeful.


Unfortunately, I was sound asleep when AT&T called again about the bills I haven't gotten. This time they screwed it up completely, and transferred me to Illinois, who didn't have access to my records, so I was in no very good mood at all when I finally got somebody who could make sure everything was in fact OK...but he also told me the bills wouldn't be sent out until Friday, for heaven's sake. What a company! If there was any alternative for local service up here, I would be very tempted to switch.


Anyway, that took care of the morning. I discovered when I got up that I still had very sore feet and especially sore ankles. I conclude that I probably have developed arthritis in my ankles and maybe in my feet, too. Anyway, that meant there wasn't much I could do today, so even the non-perishable stuff I bought yesterday is still in the car.


It was a gray, windy day today, with occasional rain showers until about 10:00, then it was just gray and windy, and the lake is really roaring. I would have driven down M-26 this afternoon except that I had to go to the post office in a hurry and I forgot the camera. The temperature was steady at about 47º, which made it a bit cool when I was out in the wind. The wind is still in the 25-35 mph range, so it will be another noisy night. Maybe if my body is a bit more comfortable, it will sing me to sleep instead of keeping me awake?


Around 7:00 tonight I was getting hungry and thinking about what I could scare up to eat, when I had a better thought, so I went to Harbor Haus and had a good dinner. It was pretty quiet tonight, but that's the way I like it. They close on Saturday, so I might as well get my fill now. I will go back Friday for the last fish.


While I was eating dinner, I kept seeing a light down at this end of the harbor. I knew it wasn't from my house, and it was too far north to be the other house I know is occupied, and when I got back here, I discovered that I have a neighbor to the south. This is very late for them to be here, but I'm glad somebody got here. There wasn't anybody there while I was here this summer. They have a nice house, and it shouldn't sit empty.


I can also report that all the rain we have had has left the road in terrible shape. I only hope it dries out some before it freezes. There are two huge puddles up near US-41 and lots of potholes full of water all the way to my driveway. It's funny to see all the tracks of everybody trying to wind around the potholes in the road. However, I will not complain about the rain. I think the lake has come up several inches since the first of September, and that is a good thing. It may also have saved the red pine next to the house, although I probably won't know about that until next spring. It's only too bad that we had to have all our rain at once, rather than spread out over the summer like it should have been.


So that is all I know. I finished the heel of the sock this morning, and I can go full speed on the foot. I actually have four socks in progress, and it's time to buckle down and try to finish some of them, especially since I have recently gotten some new yarn that I would really like to work in. And I have to do something to try to get the house ready to leave. I need to do cat pans and I need to go to the compactor on Friday, so I certainly hope my feet feel better tomorrow. The barometer is rising, so maybe that is a good sign.


October 9

I got to knitting again last night, and I wanted to get by the end of one ball and into the next, so it was after midnight before I got to bed again. The wind only blew for a little while, then it died down and it was a very quiet night, with a few stars early in the morning.


I woke up around 8:00 and decided that was too early to get up, so about 9:45 I was awakened by a recorded voice on the phone saying that my telephone bills were delinquent and I should pay them immediately. Well! The reason I haven't paid any telephone bills is because I haven't gotten any since the final bill for Champine. That upset me. So I got hold of a lady who discovered that the reason I had not gotten any bills was that they had been being sent to Woodlawn Street in Detroit...now how the devil they managed that is totally beyond my comprehension, since the old bills were being sent to the correct address. However, I'm not sure the outstanding bills are correct, so I want to look at them before I pay them. She suggested I look at them online...well! It turns out that in order to see the bills online, you have to know the three digits that follow your telephone number on the bill. But since I haven't gotten any bills, I don't know what those numbers are, and even though they verified that I am me from my social security number, they absolutely, adamantly refused to tell me what the three numbers are. So all I can hope is that the bills come before I leave for Detroit.


What a lousy way to start a day. I do not like being called delinquent, and I do not enjoy dealing with Ma Bell, which is what AT&T has turned into. Grr.


Anyway, as a result, I was later leaving for town than I wanted to be. And that was rather frustrating, too. The color is far past its peak, and for the first time this year I got behind some people who were excessively law-abiding drivers. I managed to dodge them by taking Cliff Drive, but until then, the drive wasn't much fun. There are still some trees showing nice color, quite yellow, and some birches and other trees that are just turning now. Some of the oaks are a lovely red, and some have turned brown already, no doubt due to the dryness. However, it was so dark and dreary it was hard to see how nice the color is.


At Wal-Mart, I discovered that they apparently don't carry garment bags - I wonder where I can get some? - and the only wireless card they had was for Windows XP and Windows 2000 only (apparently). The employee who helped me was much more interested in talking to a young thing at the counter than he was in helping a fat old lady with out-of-date equipment.


Anyway, that meant I had to go to Office Max, where they were much nicer, and I now have a wireless card, although it is a USB card instead of a PCMIA card. I guess it won't matter, so long as I'm careful not to bend it when it's plugged in. And there were a few other things, like archive boxes, that I wanted to get there, so that was convenient.


The only trouble was that by that time I was sweating and exhausted, since both places are huge and I had to walk around a good part of both stores.


Then it was off to Econo Foods, and I guess I got most of what I wanted there, with a few exceptions that I will have to ask about the next time I am there. They have discontinued a few things, I think.


Next was a stop at the gas station, where the price of gas is $2.93, a bit higher than the national average, but not too bad a price, considering.


The only problem was, it was a really lousy day. The temperature was around 46º here and 43º in Houghton, with a brisk northwest wind. There were numerous patches of drizzle all the way down to town, and while I was filling my gas tank, I was standing in a windy drizzle which was rather chilly, even though I had dressed for the weather. I didn't wear anything with a hood, and my wet head got quite cool. Now I have a sort of scratchy throat. Yuck.


Anyway, it was around 4:00 when I left town, and it drizzled all the way home, except it looked like it hadn't done much here, and besides, it was a bit warmer.


When I got here, there had been a power failure, and although the computer and the wireless receiver rebooted, the receiver had lost its mind again, and I had to power fail it in an orderly fashion to reset it, so there weren't any pictures for most of the afternoon. Besides, something has happened to the camera software and it has lost track of its automatic capture feature somehow. That happened once before, and the author told me how to fix it, but I've lost the email. So I have had to ask again, and in the meantime, I will have to be careful to check and make sure it is set up right every time I reboot. I hope I find out how to fix it before I leave.


So that was my day. Tomorrow or so I can start to play with my new toy and hope to get it running before I leave for Detroit. Just another thing I have to do, besides everything else...Oh, well.


Now I am very tired and I have very sore feet and a stiff back, and I think it is time to take a nice hot bath, eat a throat lozenge and crash. I've done about all I care to do for the day.


October 8

I sat in bed knitting and reading, and I got to an exciting part of the story, and it was 11:30 before I turned off the light. Oh, well. I got up around 9:30, but I knitted some more. This is the second of a pair of socks on #2 needles, and it seems to be going quite quickly.


The broadband was up when I got to the office, and everything was lovely until about 5:00 when it went down again, solid, and I have just gotten off the phone with Charlie (45 minutes), and I am now getting my signal direct from the Mountain Lodge. It was easier than I thought to change it, and I wrote down what we did, so I can do it myself if I want to...however, he has to make a change on the transmitter end in order to let me use it. It is still a little slow, but he is going to up my speed while I write this. I should get better service altogether without the extra leg in the path. We shall see.


I didn't do as much as I'd hoped. I did get the last of the plastic containers into the cupboard. I just remembered that I didn't put the glass platters away. I will do that before I go to bed. I unpacked the pictures that had been in my bedroom and the angels from the stairway wall, so all the pictures I hope to hang are now in crates or boxes. There are a lot of them. I was going to do more, but...oh, well.


It was a dark, damp, foggy night, and a dark, damp foggy day. We had several storms come through, and we picked up another .89" of rain. Now the wind has picked up, from the northwest, and it will be cooling off. The temperature hung right around 51º for most of the day. Very unprepossessing.


And that is about all I know. It's a bit later than I'd hoped, but if the broadband is straightened around, it will be worth it. Now we shall see.


October 7

So I started reading a book, then when I got to the north end, I knitted a while, and it was 1:00 when I got to bed. Sigh. Even though I slept until about 10:30, I didn't feel like I had enough sleep, so I didn't do much today. Sigh.


I woke up around 8:30, and I was hot - that was partly because I had to walk, and partly because it had gotten significantly warmer overnight. When I got to the office, the official temperature was 72º. I had opened the porch door to see why Jasmine was so upset, and it almost felt like it was warmer outside than inside...but then, it was very humid outside and the sun was shining on the porch. So I opened the porch doors and the sliders and enjoyed the fresh air. It smelled almost like a candy shop, it was so sweet smelling.


We had had a little bit of rain between 5:00 and 6:00 am, and at 8:30 the deck was still wet, it was so humid. The temperature eventually got up to 80º - surely a new record - and then (ah, that blessed "and then"!) the wind shifted to the north-northwest, and the temperature dropped down to 68º and it has been dropping more ever since. Around 5:30 the fog started to roll in in earnest, and it is now dull and gray and foggy and I can hear the bell buoy.


I took my slicker to dinner, because I started hearing thunder around the time I left, but apparently that cell went either north or south of us, and it didn't rain, it was just impossible to see anything.


I knitted a bit and I spent considerable time embroidering. There wasn't much else to do, because the broadband went down around 1:00 and it is still down. Apparently Jonathan was doing a software upgrade to the fish house transmitter, and after that, Charlie was going to replace an Ethernet port in the hopes of getting the Copper Harbor Camera back up and running. It is still down at 7:30, and I got tired of waiting, so I tried the dial up, and I am getting absolutely horrible connections. So I will write this, but I'm not sure I'll be able to upload it.


Jasmine was in her glory with all the doors open. She kept running around to all the open places. She likes the door in the office best, I suppose because there are things running around in the tree a lot. She was a bit nervous with me in the ugly chair, but I tried to more or less ignore her in the hope that one day I can convince her I'm to be trusted. Of course, then I will take her to the vet and mess up the whole thing.


After breakfast, Buster went to sleep on the porch - he likes it there, too - and he stayed at least until it cooled off. So I didn't have any little people in the office with me today.


I went to dinner tonight and it was still reasonably busy in Harbor Haus, although mostly the patrons were people older than I am, and some of them were clearly very deaf. I know I don't hear too well, but I hope when I get to the point where I say "what?" every time somebody talks, I will realize it and get some hearing aids.


Apparently my fan club was in attendance tonight. Somebody bought me a drink, and somebody else bought me dessert...I drank the drink, but I brought the dessert home with me...Belgian chocolate amoretto torte. It's one thing on the menu I haven't tried, and it looks wonderful, but after all the other food (lamb chops) I was just too full to try it tonight.


I really appreciate the people who do things like that, but really, folks, I wish you would introduce yourselves and tell me who you are. You don't need to be embarrassed to let me know you enjoy what I do here. I am grateful, both for the food and to know some people find this site interesting or entertaining or something. And you don't need to worry about interrupting my dinner; I don't mind at all.


So now I have a headache, from lack of sleep and too much JD, so I will wrap this up and try to get it published. I'm sorry for the lack of pictures, because it was an interesting afternoon to watch the changing weather, from nearly clear to cloudy and foggy. There were some interesting crepuscular rays for a while, and at that time it looked almost like it was raining on the Mountain Lodge...I couldn't check radar because the broadband was down. However, maybe by tomorrow things will be up and running and in better shape. All I can say to Charlie is, if the fish house is one of the more stable nodes, they must be having a horrible time with the other ones.


And that is all there is for tonight.


October 6

When I got up to the north end of the house, I looked over one of the socks I had been knitting, and I discovered that I had made the leg almost 2" longer than it should be, so before I went to bed, I ripped it out and re-knit it, then I finished it this morning. Usually I write the important numbers - stitches and rows - on a little slip of paper and keep it in the bag with the project, but I didn't write everything down about this sock. Serves me right.


I am happy to say I was apparently right about my back. I was much more careful about my position in bed last night, and I woke up with no back problem at all. It was stiff all day - thanks to the weather - but it wasn't sore. Now all I have to do is remember to be careful about how I lie.


It rained most of the night and morning and drizzled until almost 3:00 this afternoon, and we got 1.31" of rain. I guess we are trying to catch up on our deficit all at once. I certainly hope this pattern holds when we get into November. We really need a good snow cover this year, both for the tourism and for the lake levels. Maybe this is the year...


I actually woke up about 9:30, but I was in the middle of an interesting dream, so I dozed until 10:00, then I finished the sock and started the second one, so I was late getting to the office again. When I got here, the broadband was down, so there were no morning pictures. Not to worry: they looked just like the afternoon pictures. Anyway, this time it was my receiver, and it lost its mind twice before it finally settled down.


We did have some nice storms last night, with lots of lightning, but I think we were on the outside edge of them again, and they were more severe further south. At least it seems they zapped some PastyNet equipment. 


I found that out late this afternoon when the broadband went south again, and when I checked, the fish house had disappeared for no apparent reason. So I called and got somebody new - at least they have somebody answering the phone now - who had a hard time understanding what I was talking about. However, this time it didn't require a hard reset, and they could do it remotely, so it wasn't down long.


I actually did a few things today. I have had the crate full of plastic containers on the floor in the kitchen for quite some time now, and it was beginning to bug me, so this afternoon, I got out my long reach tool and rearranged the shelf where I intended to keep such things. I got everything in - just - except for three new TV dinner plates which I had to wash. Maybe if those containers are available, I will use them when I have things to store. 


I also washed three Pyrex platters which I bought a very long time ago and have never used. They had been in a drawer on Champine, so I don't know why they got so dirty, but I think they had never been washed at all, and they are more things I intend to use.


My back felt good enough today that I am thinking my problem of the past couple of days was just the culmination of something I have been doing for quite a while. I will try to be careful about how I lie and hope for the best. I don't know very many things that discourage me from working quite so much as when my back starts acting up. It was also sore when I was lying down, and I don't know what I would do if I couldn't sleep comfortably.


It was a very foggy day all day, and it rained or drizzled for most of the day. For the better part of the afternoon, it was so thick I couldn't see the shore of the harbor, and that's how it was when it got dark. The temperature was essentially 52º for the last 24 hours, and it was either calm or there was very light wind from the southeast. The lake is still fussing, and I just don't know where the engine for that is coming from.


I am really sorry for those folks who picked this weekend for their color tour. The leaves are probably still there, but it has been so dull and gray, not to mention foggy, that I'm sure it was hard to see much of anything.


However, I am certainly glad to be here. The southern part of the state has been having temperatures in the upper 80s and very high humidity, and I can't stand that weather even in the middle of summer. I am hoping it will cool off at least into the 60s before I have to go south! I don't think I could stand going back into the heat.


The weather didn't seem to bother Jasmine very much. This morning she found a little twist'em that had fallen on the floor, and she brought it into the bathroom and had a ball with it. She is very well coordinated and playful, just like Buster was when he was her age, although she isn't nearly as wired as he was. I actually pulled her tail this morning. She came right up to me to sniff something on the floor, and I almost got to pet her back. As it was, all I got was tail. I didn't pull hard, but I got a look. One of these days...


Now she is running around again. I think there are too many lights on.


So that is all I know, and it's time to try the bed thing again. At least I have an empty crate...


October 5

Today would have been my father's 95th birthday.


I finished the middle finger of the glove and started the index finger last night, and as a result, I was late again. I did sleep well, but I got up with a very sore back this morning. I think I have figured out what the problem is, besides the dampness. Because of the body pillow, I think I have been sleeping with  my back straight instead of curved, and the whole thing tightens up. I will try to get into a better position tonight and hope it helps.


It was damp overnight, even though it didn't rain, because I had to leave the porch door open. I closed it when I went up to the north end, and while I was undressing in the closet, I looked up, and there was a very cross calico cat glaring at me through the glass. I opened the door again, but she wouldn't come in, so I left it open. The temperature in the bedroom was actually quite comfortable, since there wasn't any wind, but I do suspect I was heating the great out-of-doors.


So I was late getting up, and then I finished the index finger and started the thumb, so it was afternoon before I got to the office, and I actually didn't have anything to eat but orange juice until after I went to the post office. Talk about getting off-schedule...


All of that meant I didn't do anything today, not that I felt much like it.


It started raining about 10:45 this morning, and it has been raining pretty much all day, mostly quite lightly, and we have about .6" down. Interestingly enough, even though there isn't any wind, I can hear the lake fussing, so something is going on north or west of us. They are predicting thick fog overnight and into the middle of tomorrow morning.


I did go out to eat tonight, and there are a modest number of people in town. I'm sorry their color tours are being washed out, but that is the chance you take when you come up here at this time of year. It's why we began to take the two weeks of September before the equinox instead of the last two weeks. The weather just gets too unstable at this time of year. While I was eating, five people showed up in a limo. I'd like to know the story behind that.


At least it isn't frigid. The temperature was in the low 50s all day, and nearly steady. I suppose that hasn't done my back any good, either...cool dampness is hard on it.


So that is about all I know, and I will try to get to bed a little earlier tonight, I promise. The thumb is almost done, so after that all I have to do is work in all the ends on both gloves, which isn't any fun. I would like to do something tomorrow, provided my back cooperates.


October 4

I knitted for a while last night, and I finished the little finger of the glove and started the ring finger. So it was a bit late when I got to bed, but I slept well and long, and it was 10:30 before I got up this morning. Then, between petting a cat and finishing the ring finger and starting the middle finger, it was 11:30 before I got to the office and 2:00 before I had something to eat. Read: lost day.


The fingers of gloves go fast, because there aren't many stitches (20 max) and there aren't many rows (max 35), so I expect to finish the glove soon. I may not get anything else done, but I will finish the glove.


I did sort through the plastic containers and organize them, sort of, but I still have to find out what is on the bottom of the shelf before I can get them into the cabinet. 


By the time I got out of the bathroom this morning, my back was killing me, so I didn't do much. I used to be able to sit in the bathroom for hours, but evidently the advancing arthritis in my back is going to make that hard...and I do like to craft a bit before I go to bed and when I wake up. It's a longstanding habit that relaxes me.


It was a lovely day. It clouded up in the middle of the day, but before and after that it was sunny and nice, with a little wind from the northwest. It got up to 70º around 2:00, but by the next reading, the wind had shifted around to the north and it was 64º. It recovered a bit, and it has been in the low 60s all day. I opened the porch doors, just to air it out a bit, and Jasmine was ecstatic. She loves the porch even more than Buster does.


She was really wired this morning, chasing the flies at the windows. Buster was wakeful, too, which meant he bugged me all morning. 


I guess we are in the fly season. The last time the porch was open, there were dozens of flies at the screens, and I thought maybe some of them came in, which I suppose they did, but I keep getting flies even when the doors are shut, so they are coming out of wherever they spend the summer. I think these are called cluster flies. They don't bite, but they buzz around and generally annoy all of us. At least I can say there aren't nearly as many as there were when the house was new. This is a general problem in these parts. Everybody has them, and we just cope. I think the dryness of the summer made them appear late, and there are probably fewer of them this year.


I finally bit the bullet and made my motel reservation, so I am now admitting that I am really going to Detroit and I am really going to stay in a motel. Next week I will have to go to town and get a few things I have decided I need for the trip, as well as a few other things on my list (like garment bags and shelf paper), and food. I don't see going out for breakfast, so I will stock up on sandwich makings.


So that was another day, and it feels like I got too little sleep last night. Maybe if I start now, I can get to bed at a reasonable hour?


October 3

Remember Tetris? Well, there's this program I have had forever that is a sort of three-dimensional Tetris. I haven't played it in a long time, but I started doing it last night, and it was late before I finally got to bed.


It turns out that it kept raining after I wrote last night's entry, and in fact, it rained the whole night, more or less heavily - for a total of about 1.15" for the night. The heaviest part of the rain took place between 3:00 and 4:00, and it really poured...and then the wind picked up. Wow! The NWS statistics say the gusts were only about 42 mph, but there is also a report of 52 mph gusts, which is more like it. I don't like the way they report those things at all. I think they take the last two measurements and say that the wind speed is the lower and the gust is the higher. So the wind was reported at something like 18 mph or so, but the way it was blowing, that was the minimum and it didn't happen very often. Most of the time it was blowing in the 30-50 mph range, at least here, out of the northwest.


Translate that as, it was very noisy, and after I woke up and took a walk, I couldn't get back to sleep until I finally put the comforter partly over my ear to shut out the noise. It was so noisy that I could hardly hear the lake, which was kicking up a fuss, and the waves probably got to around 8 feet. Buster didn't like it at all, and he slept with me for a good part of the night. I think Jasmine hung out in the basement. At least, I didn't see her.


My neighbor to the north couldn't sleep, either. He was out to the garage for a smoke at about 5:00 and again at 6:30 or so. When he goes at night, he turns on the floodlight which is at second story level of the house, and not only does it illuminate his yard, it illuminates my bedroom. That isn't annoying, since it doesn't shine on the bed, but it's something I notice when it happens. I haven't had a chance to ask him the origin of the ban on smoking in the house, but he apparently obeys it religiously, and it gives me a chuckle. 


That is one thing about not having my mother around: if she were still alive, I would have to permit smoking in the house. As it is, I don't, and I don't. However, all things considered, I would rather have my mother.


Anyway, I made it out of bed around 9:30, and it was a perfectly gorgeous morning: blue skies, no clouds, and whitecaps on the teal-green harbor. The wind was still howling, with gusts to 42 mph, but shortly it began to die down somewhat. I knitted for a while and started the little finger of the glove.


I did get a few things done today. The dinnerware cupboard is pretty much in shape, although I don't like it much. One thing I've noticed about the cabinets in my kitchen is that the upper cupboards are an inch or so shallower than the ones on Champine, which means things don't fit quite so nicely. In fact, they don't fit nicely at all. The sad thing about kitchen cabinets is that we select them for the outsides and the finishes, but what we have to live with are the insides...and in most cases, the insides are far from ideal. I could tell those stubborn Quebecois a few things about the insides of their cabinets, none of them complimentary. Of course, the outsides are gorgeous.


I have quite a number of mugs that need to be packed away, and while I put the freezer TV dinner plates away (what in the world is in that cupboard?), I still have a whole crateful of plastic containers that need to be put away somewhere.


Anyway, I made a little progress. I found a box that I can pack away some of the serving plates in, but I need to find a medium box to pack the mugs in. I'm sure there's one in the garage. There are some good side effects of having all that packing material around from what I've unpacked: packing up the stuff for storage will be easy. I learned last year that you don't want to use newspaper to pack china and things like that, because the ink can permanently stain the china. So it's nice to have all that newsprint around to pack. Tomorrow.


I did get to the post office and came back with some more things to play with and another big pile of catalogs, as well as a pile of pleas for money that went right into the trash.


And that was about all of my day. Tonight I will try hard not to start playing any games, and while I may do a little knitting, I will try hard to get to bed at a reasonable hour. I think the little people will be much happier tonight, since the wind is nearly calm now. I thought it was going to be a clear night, but there was a cloud in the west at sunset, and it has now spread over most of the sky. Maybe it's only one cloud and we will have stars tonight. At least we will have peace and quiet.


And that's about all there is.


October 2

It was another one of those nights where I slept, but I didn't feel like I slept well. I woke up around 8:30, and I didn't want to get up, but I had to, so... I petted a cat and knitted for a while, but even so I got to the computer earlier than I have for some time.


It was a dull, dark and cloudy day again. The temperature was in the low 60s for most of the day, although it briefly got to 65º, and around 7:00 it started raining. There is a big glob of rain coming toward us, so I suppose it will rain off and on all night. That is good for sleep.


I guess I am in denial about having to go to Detroit, and I didn't do much until this evening. I finally cleared out the cupboard above the ovens, by taking my long reach tool to get all the stuff off the shelf. I put a few platters up there with the roasting pans, and I have a few more to put there, once I wash them. How can a platter that has been closed up in a drawer get all gloppy? I still don't understand that, but they sure are nasty.


Then I started rearranging the cupboard across from the ovens, where I keep my every-day dishes. The long reach tool helped there, too, but I'm not too sure how well it will be able to grab all the mugs on the third shelf. I want to go through those and pack away some I know I will never need, and put some of the ones I like up there. Tomorrow. I also moved some of the dishes (and the cups, which I never use) to the second shelf and got ready to transfer the plates from the small rack to the big rack.


So I guess I did something, but not much. And it's bedtime again. Maybe if I get tired enough, my mind will settle down and let me sleep?


October 1

Well, it's October. Sigh.


I slept last night, but I'm not sure I would call it well. I had a lot of strange dreams, and it was warm in the bedroom. 


I got up at a reasonable hour, but first I had to pet a cat, and then I decided to finish the thumb gusset on the second glove. In the middle of that, I decided to give up on the end of the ball of yarn I was working on. Then I discovered that I had wound the second skein of yarn backwards from the first (it is multicolored, and the pattern isn't regular), and then I found that the moths had gotten to the second ball, too, and I probably lost about five yards on the outside of the second ball. So even if I had been able to use the first ball for the glove, I wouldn't have enough to make a scarf. Oh, well. I'll find something else. Now things seem to be going along quite well, though. I hope that's the end of the moths in that project.


It rained from about 10:30 pm until 3:00 am, but not hard, and it was very foggy for a while. After that, it was just cloudy and dark at night, and cloudy and gray all day long. The temperature was steady at about 55º - so much for our warm weather - and there was no wind at all. They are calling for fog tonight and tomorrow before it starts to rain again.


The broadband was still down this morning, and in fact, it didn't come back up until rather late this afternoon. I had a conversation with Ole, who is the new guy answering the phone at PastyNet, and he was rather taken aback when I told him, no, I didn't need to talk to Charlie, I just wanted it fixed. I guess he's not used to old hands in the computer wars.


It is back up now, and as Charlie predicted, it's speedy and running well. It was particularly nice to have it back, since the phone connection was just horrible today, and I couldn't do a lot of my morning surfing. What I did took hours. I managed to read my funnies, but I couldn't do my puzzles or look at a lot of my pictures.


I began to try to do something about the kitchen, and I will wash dishes overnight (gee, I love that timed start!). I got the clean crystal into the cabinet and began to try to arrange things there, and I began to collect the trash. I was thinking about going to the compactor today, but got too late a start, so that's for later. Wednesday, maybe.


And that was about it. I didn't seem to have very much time today.


And from the way I feel, I didn't sleep very well last night, so maybe I can make it an early night tonight.  That depends in part on how well the upload goes. It's October in the field...


Last  updated 08/04/11 08:45 PM